Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 0 Swansea 0

Sheffield Wednesday earned an FA Cup fifth round replay with Swansea City after holding the Premier League side to a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 17th February 2018, 1:29 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th February 2018, 1:35 pm
Owls v Swansea
Owls v Swansea

The result was not what either team wanted on Carlos Carvalhal's much-anticipated return to South Yorkshire.

The best opportunities came in the opening 45 minutes. Adam Reach was denied early on by the reflexes of Kristoffer Nordfeldt while Cameron Dawson pulled off a superb reaction save to tip over Mike van der Hoorn's header.

Owls chief Jos Luhukay shuffled his pack, making six changes to the starting line-up. As expected, Cameron Dawson started in goal. David Jones, Jacob Butterfield, Morgan Fox, Ross Wallace and Atdhe Nuhiu also returned to the starting line-up.

Carvalhal, given a warm reception by the Owls' fans on his first return to Hillsborough since leaving the club by mutual consent on Christmas Eve, was forced into making a alteration to his team after Alfie Mawson suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up. The former Barnsley centre-half was replaced by Kyle Naughton, who kicked off his career at Sheffield United.

Reach, wearing the captain's armband with Loovens named on the bench, burst through on goal in the second minute but his right foot drive was expertly turned away by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

For our Owls news and opinion on twitter follow hereIt took a well-timed tackle by Naughton to stop Nuhiu from connecting with Jack Hunt's dangerous centre from the right as the Owls dominated the early skirmishes.

The Wednesday fans were in good voice and enjoying the team's positive start.

The hosts frustrated the Swans, restricting them to few sights at goal. Naughton, in a rare foray forward, burst forward only to see his effort deflected behind for a corner off Fox.

When Carvalhal took over the Welsh club, Swansea were bottom of the Premier League and looked in danger of being cut adrift.

But the genial Portuguese chief has overseen a remarkable transformation, overseeing a nine-match unbeaten run and lifting them out of the relegation zone.

Pudil produced an immaculate performance at the heart of Wednesday's three-man defence and he superbly headed away Wayne Routledge's teasing delivery after good play by Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham.

Dawson had little to do in the first half but he pulled of a fantastic save from point blank range to keep out Mike van der Hoorn's header following a fine cross by Naughton. The Swansea centre-half should have buried the chance but Dawson showed great reflexes to deny the big Dutchman.

On the stroke of half-time, Reach glanced over Wallace's inswinging corner but it was largely a first period where defences held sway.

Swansea had a penalty appeal in the 48th minute rejected after Fox collided with Luciano Narsingh but referee Tierney was unmoved and allowed play to continue.

Both sides lacked end product and quality in the final third.

For more news from Hillsborough click hereWednesday harried and pressed the Swans into mistakes on the ball and then looked to counter quickly themselves. Wallaced showed some neat footwork near the corner of the Kop before floating in an inviting cross which Nuhiu headed straight at Nordfeldt.

Moments later, van der Hoorn was cautioned after bringing down Hunt deep inside Swansea's half.

Carvalhal tinkered with his attacking options, throwing on Nathan Dyer and Jordan Ayew. And the pair gave their forward line more pace and menace. Dyer almost made an immediate impact but Dawson was equal to his low drive. Ayew then linked up well with Dyer before shooting straight at Dawson.

Nuhiu worked tirelessly up front for Wednesday and he danced his way past van der Hoorn in the box before seeing his left foot strike gathered at the second time of asking by Nordfeldt.

The Owls kept pressing for a late winner and Nuhiu fed Reach, who whipped in a low cross but Naughton came to the Swans' rescue, preventing substitute Lucas Joao from tapping home. Even if Joao had turned it in, it would not have counted as the linesman had raised his flag for offside.

Owls: Dawson; Venancio, Jones, Pudil; Hunt, Boyd, Butterfield (Pelupessy 70), Reach, Fox; Wallace (Joao 80), Nuhiu. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Nielsen, Loovens, Baker, Kirby.

Swansea: Nordfeldt, Bartley, Naughton, van der Hoorn, Roberts, Olsson (Clucas 78), Carroll, Ki, Narsingh (Dyer 64), Routledge, Abraham (Ayew 67). Substitutes: Mulder, Fernandez, James.

Attendance: 19,427

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)